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Stop and Search

All of us want to live in a community that is safe, tolerant and free from crime.

To make sure this happens, the police sometimes have to stop people and ask them to account for their actions or presence in an area.  Sometimes the police may also need to carry out a search of a person's clothes or property.


The police can stop and search people to detect crime and help make our neighbourhoods safe. Searches are only carried out where there are reasonable grounds to do so and if they suspect you are carrying:

  • drugs
  • weapons
  • stolen property
  • items which could be used to commit crime, terrorist act or damage property

 For more information about:

  • why an officer would carry out a stop and search
  • what an officer much tell you before they carry out a stop and search
  • what happens if you are stopped
  • what information you will need to provide
  • how to make a complaint 
  • stop and search statistics

Visit www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/advice/neighbourhood-and-community/stop-and-search 

You should not be stopped just because of your age, race, ethnic background, nationality, religion or faith, the way you look, the language you speak or because you have committed a crime in the past.

If you are stopped or search it doesn't mean you have done something wrong.  However a police officer must have a good reason for stopping or searching you and should tell you what it is.

The overriding priority of Avon and Somerset Police is to keep the public safe by working together with all our communities to defeat crime.  We appreciate your support and co-operation.

 For more information download:

Stop and Search - English

For hardcopies of the above document, please email or call 01275 816377

Under the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme you can also contact Avon and Somerset Police if you have a concern about the way the police are using stop and search within your community. To submit a Community Trigger Application - Stop and Search, click here.

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